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Opposition demands President Novák’s resignation over a controversial amnesty

February 8th, 2024

A left-wing pundit thinks it was the fault of the ’system’ that President pardoned the helper of a paedophile offender last year. A pro-government columnist believes that the opposition side is more lenient towards paedophilia than the government.

Last week it turned out that the 25 convicted citizens pardoned by President Novák on the occasion of Pope Francis’s visit to Hungary included a man convicted for his attempts to whitewash his boss, the director of an orphanage who had sexually abused children under his care for several years. Opposition parties immediately called on President Novák to resign and initiated a process to strip her of her title if she doesn’t. Fidesz floor leader Máté Kocsis retorted that the opposition should rather express regret for its refusal to vote for the child protection act (against paedophilia and sexual propaganda, see e.g., BudaPost, July 30, 2021).

In Népszava, Zoltán Batka concedes that President Novák has no intention of promoting paedophilia, and nor is former Minister of Justice Judit Varga who countersigned the amnesty. He believes that decision to pardon the man was taken somewhere in the background by unknown influential people and the apparatus of the Justice Ministry ad the Presidential Office is simply not accustomed to question such decisions. The Minister and the President would even have signed a cake recipe, he writes. He lays the blame at the doorstep of what he defines as a monolithic regime and suggests that the case proves George Soros right as an advocate of an ‘open society’.

On the Mandiner website, István Joó finds it curious that leftist news outlets which were rather relaxed in the past about paedophile offenders as well as the parties connected to them should accuse President Novák of promoting paedophilia. The man she pardoned, he argues, was not a paedophile himself and had already served eighteen months in jail, after which he was kept under house arrest, before being pardoned. As examples of opposition leniency towards paedophiles, Joó quotes a statement by a veteran liberal politician who once called sexual relations between teachers and pupils ‘a private matter’ and an article by the 444 web magazine which stated that only a minority of sexual offences against minors were committed by paedophiles.

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